Getting a CDL license in Georgia is relatively straightforward. In this article we will go through everything you need to know about the process, including requirements, training and more.
Determine CDL class and endorsements
- CDL Class A: Allows you to operate any vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, provided the vehicle you are towing has a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less.
- CDL Class B: Allows you to operate any vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more, and to tow a trailer with a GVWR of 10,001 or more pounds.
- CDL Class C: Allows you to operate any vehicle with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds, and to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.
- Endorsements: In addition to the class of CDL you need, you may also need endorsements on your license to operate certain types of vehicles. Endorsements include:
- Hazardous materials (H)
- Tank vehicles (N)
- Double/triple trailers (T)
- Passenger (P)
- School bus (S)
Since February 7, 2022, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that drivers meet the new Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations.
- If you wish to take the written test in order to obtain a Class A or Class B CDL, upgrade an existing CDL, or receive an initial school bus, passenger or hazardous material endorsement, you must receive theory training from an approved theory training provider listed in the FMCSA Training Provider Registry (TPR).
- To take the road skills test, you must receive behind-the-wheel (BTW) training from an approved BTW training provider listed in the TPR.
Zutobi is an FMCSA approved online theory training provider registered in the Training Provider Registry.
How to obtain a commercial learner’s permit
- Be at least 18 years old (or 21 years old if you want to operate a commercial motor vehicle across state lines)
- Have a valid Georgia driver’s license
- Have a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate (more on this below)
- Pass a written knowledge test
How to apply
- Complete a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application (Form DDS-1205) and a Self-Certification Affidavit (Form DDS-1207). These forms can be obtained at a DDS Customer Service Center or online.
- Have your medical examiner’s certificate and your Georgia driver’s license with you when you apply
- Pay the required fees
- Schedule and take the written knowledge test at a DDS Customer Service Center
How to obtain your Georgia CDL
- Hold a CLP for at least 14 days
- Pass a skills test in a vehicle that represents the class of CDL and endorsements you are applying for
How to apply
- Schedule and take the skills test at a DDS Customer Service Center or a DDS approved third-party tester
- Pay the required fees
- Have your CLP, medical examiner’s certificate, and Georgia driver’s license with you when you apply
- All CDL holders are required to self-certify the type of commercial driving they will do (interstate or intrastate). This can be done through a Self-Certification Affidavit (Form DDS-1207) when you apply for your CLP.
- If you plan to operate a CMV in interstate commerce, you must meet the federal medical qualification standards and carry a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate (also known as a “DOT card”).
- If you plan to operate a CMV only in intrastate commerce, Georgia law requires you to meet the state’s medical qualification standards and carry a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate.
Find medical certificates below:
Other requirements and disqualifications
- Be able to read and speak English well enough to read and understand road signs, traffic signals, and to communicate with the public.
- Have a good driving record. The Georgia Department of Driver Services may disqualify you from getting a CDL if you have certain traffic violations on your record, such as:
- DUI (driving under the influence)
- Reckless driving
- Hit and run
- Fleeing the scene of an accident
- Using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony
- Driving a CMV with a suspended, revoked, or cancelled license
- Causing a fatality through negligent operation of a CMV
- Refusing to submit to a chemical test (such as a breathalyzer test)
- Not have a disqualifying criminal record. You may be disqualified from getting a CDL if you have certain criminal convictions, such as a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.
Note that this list is not exhaustive and there may be other disqualifications not mentioned here. If you have any concerns about your eligibility, you should contact the Georgia DDS.